James Howard Jackson, the man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole the singer’s two French bulldogs in a violent robbery, was sentenced to 21 years in state prison Monday.
“A settlement was reached today in the case of the People vs. James Howard Jackson. Mr. Jackson pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder and admitted the allegation of inflicting great bodily injury and to a prior strike,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a statement to TheWrap, adding that Harold White, who was charged with being an accessory after the shooting, pleaded no contest to a count of ex-convict in possession of a gun and will be sentenced next year.
“The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the statement continues. “The District Attorney’s Office works to hold to account anyone who commits violent acts in our community.”
The sentencing comes over a year and a half after Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was shot on Feb. 24, 2021 while walking three of the star’s bulldogs while the actress was in production in Italy for “House of Gucci.”
Fischer was walking the dogs when a white Nissan Altima pulled up beside him and two suspects came out and surrounded him while they demanded that he give the suspects the dogs. After Fischer refused, a struggle ensued and one of the suspects shot Fischer in the chest and took two of the dogs before fleeing the scene.
Following the attack, Fischer was listed in critical condition and later recalled cradling the remaining dog while lying in a pool of blood. Though two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav, were taken in the incident, they were later found unharmed and returned to Gaga.
“I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family,” Gaga wrote in a statement in People following the attack. “You’re forever a hero.”
Prior to entering his plea, Jackson was confronted directly by Fischer in court, who forgave his assailant in an emotional speech.
“You shot me and left me to die, and both of our lives have changed forever,” Fischer said, according to Rolling Stone, adding that he lost his career and friendships as a result of the shooting. “I do forgive you. With the attack, you completely altered my life. I know I can’t completely move on from the night you shot me until I said those words to you.”
In April 2022, the case turn a turn when Jackson was inadvertently released on Wednesday “due to a clerical error” after attending a court proceeding at the Clara Shortridge Criminal Justice Center one day prior.
The mistake was realized shortly after and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department acted immediately to get Jackson back into custody.